Business Process Automation (BPA) refers to the use of technology to automate activities and workflow. BPA involves implementing software applications to automate redundant, routine business tasks through initiation, execution, completion, and reporting to support better organizational workflow.
BPA gives businesses the opportunity to improve their processes in terms of time and quality. Through automation, errors associated with manual processes such as data entry are eliminated as is the time spent entering them. When BPA is applied to existing processes it typically can be implemented quite quickly with immediate ROI. In addition so saving time and money, BPA boosts productivity by allowing staff to focus their talents on more important areas.
BPA is focused on three core principles: orchestration, integration, and execution. Orchestration involves allowing organizations building systems that provide centralized management of their software and computing architecture. Integration involves combining applications to allow them to share information and reduce data entry. Automated execution aims to eliminate or drastically reduce the need for human involvement in specific business tasks.
Processes That Are Often Automated
BPA can applied to virtually any aspect of a business, but it is more common in some areas than others such as:
- Document Management
- Email Alerts
- Client Management
- Customer Support
- Administrative Tasks
- Accounts Payable
- HR Onboarding
The Difference Between BPA and BPM
Business Process Management (BPM) involves an evaluation of the overall methodology behind the business processes and workflows themselves. BPM is a more comprehensive approach concerned with improving efficiency, adapting to changing business needs, and clarifying job roles and responsibilities. BPA is often part of an overall BPM strategy, though its implementation often takes longer due to a more human-centric approach.